back to article iPhone developer stamps out calculator profanity

The twisted path that led you to becoming the horrible person you are today probably began when your adolescent mind first realized you could spell "BOOBIES" on an upside-down calculator. A seven-segment display can harvest more civilized output like "thesis," "legible," or even "Othello" – yet somehow you couldn't resist the …


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  1. Graham Marsden

    Numerous studies have proven...

    ... that pornographic, adult-rated material, when consumed by impressionable kids, can have untoward, sometimes dangerous behavioral consequences on researchers and members of the American Moral Minority who can't believe that you can look at this stuff *without* wanting to do bad things, even though this says more about them than it does about anyone else.

    There, finished the sentence correctly for you :-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but...

    ...does it get HELLHOLE? Or what about political commentary - what happens if you put it in hexadecimal and type DIEBADFED5? Journalistic integrity requires that you find out!

  3. Simon Buttress


    So is this 'feature' at the behest of Cupertino?

  4. Wrenchy


    Another useless app to be added to the 50,000 other useless apps. No wonder the app count is so high. It's all shiteware.

    OOOhhhhhh, the iPhone App Store, look how many apps WE have!

    I dare all the other cell phone makers to catch up to US!

    Go toss off.

  5. jake Silver badge

    ::rolls eyes::

    What happens with 71077345 and 710618? That's far more pornographic than 5318008!

    IMO, the entire PC movement needs to be taken behind the barn & whipped ...

  6. Anonymous Coward


    So you spent ages finding all the dirty words you can get on a standard digital calculator and put them put them in an array and waste precious cycles scanning array whenever the unit is turned upside down.

    Methinks there is more of the PR stunt playing to the "think of the children' brigade than any serious consideration about child welfare.

    Just to be sure, you think that stopping kiddies spelling "boobies" on a calculator is a seriosu problem when they can simply pull up an unsecured browser and get pictures of young lady doing ******* to her ******* while having a ****** in ******!

    Kids find anything funny, when you have heard your young kids spout the word "pants" for the 97th time that hour and they're still giggling, that's parent torture that should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention!

    When you appoint yourself some kind of moral guardian, you need to aim a little higher than banning rude words from the the dictionary and stopping calculators being used for same!

  7. Pablo

    But but but...

    What if they stood on their heads instead?

  8. Matt 13

    Waste of time!

    Seeing as though you can't disable built in apps, or replace them this means that if you wish to type rude words on the calc, then you just avoid the crap and open the default calculator app!!

  9. Anonymous John

    I've got an eight, Carol.


  10. mike white 1

    But what happens if

    you place your iphone flat on the desk, type in the offending word and then spin it through 180 degrees ?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Seems to me that we need people from the southern hemisphere to check this for wide geographical function.

    Who's up for it? Er, I mean.....

  12. Anonymous Coward

    can you make it say

    James Thomson = miserable spoilsport?

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    You have got to be joking

    Symbol says all.

  14. Tim Roberts 1


    OK, I started teaching when calculators first appeared in the classroom. Way back then every 14 year old boy and a lot of 14 year old girls searched their 7 segment displays for "porn" . They still do it and probably always will - the main difference is that now they are willing to share it with me to try and shock this crusty old bastard.

    Damm, I wish my old slide rule and 5 figure tables had all that excitement!

  15. David 45

    A cunning publicity stunt

    Yeah, right - good bit of publicity but surely you could just leave the device horizontally on a conveniently available flat surface (such a table, perchance?), and walk round the other side to read the corrupting text. Could always do a handstand, I suppose. Gives you a bit of exercise!

  16. myxiplx
    Thumb Up

    Viral marketing anybody?

    Genius idea, that's the coolest calculator I've ever seen :-)

  17. Erica Quinn
    Thumb Up

    PCalc No Longer Profane

    James is my hero. Before his bold move on behalf of adolescents everywhere, I had no inkling that calculators were a gateway drug to smut. Congrats on going viral... I think I'll have to treat him to a curry on our next Saturday take-away night... We can feel reassured when we go to divide up the dinner receipt that our calculator will prevent unintentional profanity from offending our delicate sensibilities.

  18. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Re: the scurrilous accusation of Mr A. Coward, at 05:08 GMT

    "Methinks there is more of the PR stunt playing to the "think of the children' brigade than any serious consideration about child welfare."

    How dare you accuse this developer, a man of the highest moral standing, of making light of the plight of the innocent children, until now subjected to the filth that is Sula leucogaster (or any other member of the Sula genus, for that matter)? Sir, how could you?

    It's time we stood up to smut - ornithological or numerical. You'll be thankful of Mr Thomson's vigilance when your children don't end up as devil-worshipping pornographers or worse... twitchers.

    We need more of his ilk, and I think it's important that we voice our outrage at the peddling of smut, and also our appreciation for those who are willing to carry the fight to those deviants who would corrupt our youth in this scandalous fashion. I can think of no better reward for Mr Thomson's moral stance than for you all to go onto the iTunes store RIGHT NOW, and buy this product. Buy early, buy often. Tomorrow may be too late to save an innocent from degradation.

    Publicity stunt, indeed! Sir, how could you? This is our CHILDREN we're talking about.

    [ Btw, congrats on making it into the funny papers, James! ]

  19. Christopher Martin

    I don't suppose they considered...

    ... maybe to stop pretending their application is an old-style calculator and just use a sensible fixed-pitch font which, when turned upside-down, just looks like upside-down numbers.

  20. jake Silver badge

    @Tim Roberts 1

    "Damm, I wish my old slide rule and 5 figure tables had all that excitement!"

    Eh? You never heard 'em called "slip sticks"? As in "I got yer slipstick right 'ere" ...

    I still have four ... The two Suns got me thru' my Engineering Masters degree, and I still use 'em fr back-of-the-envalope calculations. The two circular models in the airplanes get me across country.

    And of course there's the old joke about a couple snakes who couldn't produce children. A doctor recommended they try building a platform out of sticks, and try having sex on that. They thought he was barmy, but out of desperation they tried it. Soon enough, there were a lot of baby snakes writhing around. The went to the doctor, asking how he knew the solution ...


    The doctor replied "I'm not a medical doctor, I'm a structural engineering PhD, but it seemed obvious to me ... because even adders can multiply using log tables."

  21. Craig 28


    About bloody time they stopped buggering about with those cheesy LCD type looks anyway. They need to stop thinking "handheld calculator" and think "mathematical calculation aid application". No not suggesting the name change, just mean they should expand their horizons. It might even let them add some new and useful features, who knows?

  22. joi
    Paris Hilton

    A good idea improperly executed.

    Now, if this were my app, I would actually display boobies when the phone is turned...

    and proper ones, not like the braille on our lady of the icon.

  23. Anthony Gamble


    I've always liked 16433407 - in hex.

  24. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Want a calculator which knows which way up it is?

    There's some crap for that.

    Only on iPhone. Well, and other phones which support installable programs, Which, now I come to think of it is quite a lot of them. And it doesn't load this quick in real life. Hmm. Anyone got the phone number for the Advertising Standards Authority? Oh, hang on, I can look it up in my 118 app! Oh that's odd - they seem to be ex-directory.

  25. John Macintyre
    Thumb Up


    Loving the pic, bring on monday morning!

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Is it April already?

    Odd, I thought April is still 6 months away...

    Anyways, what happens if you lay it down on a flat surface (say, a table) and then walk around the table and look at it from the other end? Surely it can't detect where people are standing...

    Heck, how taking a picture of the phone with a digital camera or a camera phone held upside down? I can think of a dozen other ways to thwart it's detection.

    Joke alert icon, because that's what I think this program is.

  27. Lionel Baden

    better would of been

    if you typed boobies in the Iphone and turned it Upside down you got a picture of TITS !!!

    would of been a nice little easter egg

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Honest? People actually go out of their way to invent shit like that.....

    Next time you see him crossing the street....... run him over..... not fatal... just badly mangled..

    Give him a few years in traction and reconstructive surgery - that will the REALLY give him something to complain about.

    Useless prick.

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